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Spotlight on: Mqabba

Spotlight on: Mqabba

Mqabba is a traditional quaint village in the southern region of Malta. With a population of around only 3,000 inhabitants, the village is laced with a calming atmosphere through its traditional streets. Despite its small size, Mqabba’s community is well-known for its two excellent, competitive, and internationally renowned firework factories.Interestingly, quarries surround the village of Mqabba. Thus, it constitutes more than a quarter of the island’s supply of construction materials, making construction the town’s primary industry.
The presence of archaeological relics nearby demonstrate the significance of Mqabba. Particularly in the quarries at ‘Ta’ Kandja’ and “Tax-Xantin,” remains of extinct animals were discovered. Additionally, burials from the late prehistoric Neolithic to the Tarxien periods were discovered in a natural cave on the outskirts of Mqabba, in a cave in “Bur Meghez,” next to Tan-Naxxari Quarry.

Intriguingly, the Old Hospital was also located in Mqabba. The Knights of St. John built it in the 18th century to treat those who had been afflicted by disease and pestilence. Nowadays, the building has been renovated, and is now a community centre where it frequently hosts public gatherings, exhibits, and workshops.

Picturesque hot spots such as Blue Grotto, Għar lapsi, and Għar Neffied are located only a few kilometres away from this charming village. Alternatively. If you’re interested in taking on a hiking trail, ‘Ras il-Bajtar’ and ‘Wied Babu’ are both excellent options.
The Parish Church in the historic village of Mqabba has just commemorated 424 years since it first became a Parish Church. The church itself, which is lavishly ornamented, has an impressive dome that was severely damaged during World War II. Luckily, there was no damage to the bell tower. Despite numerous attempts by other repairers that were unsuccessful, the watch tower was fixed by Mikelang Sapiano, a watch tower maker and repairer from Mqabba.

The St. Mary Fireworks Factory produces some of the most sought-after fireworks, mesmerising locals during the parish feast, which is held between 8 and 15 August. 

The fireworks committee won the inaugural Malta International Fireworks Festival in 2006, and in 2007, after competing against seven of the most successful firework companies in the world. Every year, during the third week of June the secondary feast—the Feast in Honour of Our Lady of Lilies— fireworks displays take place. Each day of the feast has a ground and aerial fireworks spectacular. While there is a sense of competitiveness between the two feasts, locals come together to take in the immense talent that the village has to offer during the summer months.

Mqabba has been honoured with numerous international awards throughout the first two decades of the 21st century, one of which is the highly acclaimed Guinness World Records, awarded for the largest Catherine Wheel measured 32.044 m in diameter.
This was constructed and designed by the Lily Fireworks Factory Mqabba in 2011 for the night before the community’s feast day for Our Lady of Lilies.

The fireworks displays are consistently given special attention every year, showcasing conventional and more-modern techniques that have not been featured anywhere else, thus attracting locals and tourists alike.

Here are some of the best things to see and do in Mqabba:

vincenti tower

The Vincenti Tower is a tower in Mqabba constructed in 1726 by Fra Orfeo de Vincenzo. In order to utilise it as an observation post, the British military requisitioned the tower from its owner Sir William John England on June 2, 1941, during World War II. However, due to its proximity to the RAF Luqa base, it was vulnerable to aerial attacks. On April 12, 1942, it was struck; the bottom story was damaged, albeit the building held.

mintna catacombs

The Tal-Mintna Catacombs are composed of burial rooms where ancient rites were formerly carried out. Theys are made up of several separate underground clusters of adjacent burial chambers. These three catacombs are joined to create a single larger complex. The burial chambers are lavishly decorated, and many window tombs include scallop-shell carvings along with elaborate pilasters flanking the entrance to each tomb. Tal-Mintna Catacombs are accessible only through appointments.

A stroll around Ħal-Millieri

Qrendi, Mqabba, and Zurrieq surround the abandoned rural region of Ħal-Millieri. The parish church of Qrendi serves as the starting point. The trail passes through Mqabba, finishing in Zurrieq. Through this walk, you will be visiting multiple attractions from each of these villages, ranging from Mqabba’s Parish Church to the Old Hospital, and Qrendi’s St. Catherine Chapel. Experience the surrounding landscape, baroque churches, and their historical atmosphere through this comforting and enriching walk.

Village Feast of St Mary

The St. Mary Fireworks Factory will present its distinctive pyrotechnic show on August 14th. This occurs close to a supposed “tower of light” that stands at the village’s boundary. The tower, a 45-meter-high steel structure, is loaded with more than 1,400 petards, which are released using a computerised system that syncs the show to music. The performance makes full use of the tower and the nearby fields to produce an hour-long extravaganza of nonstop colour, lights, and fantastic formations appearing in the sky.